The Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS) hosted a joint online panel discussion between Iran and Qatar, entitled “Iran, Qatar, and World Affected by Coronavirus Pandemic” on Tuesday, August 11, 2020, under the auspices of Ibn Khaldon Centre of Qatar University to discuss the bilateral and multilateral relations amid the coronavirus pandemic. The speakers at the online meeting were Saeed Khatibzadeh, then IPIS vice-president for research; Seyed Majid Ghafelebashi, then IPIS assistant vice-president for research and now the IPIS vice-president for research; Nayef Nahar Al Shamari, director of Ibn Khaldon Center for Humanities and Social Sciences; Faisal Al Thani, a former advisor to Emir of Qatar; Ahmed Alenezi, analyst in West Asia issues; Nouf Al-Dossary, fellow at Ibn Khaldon Center; Mohammad Nikkhah, senior research fellow in Africa Studies at the IPIS; and Mojtaba Ferdowsipour, senior research fellow in Iraq Studies at the IPIS.
The main topics discussed in the videoconference were as follows:
Despite the acceleration and great complexities in the process of regional and international developments, it is inevitably necessary to launch constructive and effective discourses among the political elites of the two countries with the purpose of building trust and holding sustainable interaction. Despite the differences in the attitude towards the regional developments, the relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the State of Qatar have been able to take effective steps in regulating economic interaction considering their cultural and historical commonalities. Given the crisis between Qatar and some members of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council and considering the US’ policy of pressure, this process could turn into a model of promotion of trust-building cooperation with the purpose of achieving strategic partnership in the region.
The necessity of exploiting the capacities for discourse and particularly the capacity for the expansion of economic cooperation amid the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic as well as security cooperation in the fight against extremist terrorism and smuggling at the regional level would lay the foundation for mutual understanding and interaction. Tehran and Doha have managed to take effective steps in this path. Therefore, the panel discussion has emphasized the necessity for the formation of political determination in the region on the basis of strategic partnership.